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Richard Allen

methodist church black episcopal

Allen, Richard (1760–1831), first bishop and founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Born a slave, he was raised on a plantation in Delaware, becoming a Methodist at age 17. He bought his freedom (1786) and moved to Philadelphia, where he organized an Independent Methodist Church to better serve black people. He was ordained a minister in the Methodist Church (1799) and later founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church (1816), the first black denomination in the United States.

See also: Jones, Absalom.

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